Ms. Rachel Gemo's Notes

Head of Parish School (PK-8) 

In This Week's Notes For Your Reference

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Wednesday 10/23 - Java with Gemo focused on the 7C’s portfolio

  • Thursday, October 24th - 8th grade US Constitution Test

  • Friday October 25th - Fun Run Out of Uniform Day (students will be given passes) 

  • Friday, October 25th - MS Halloween Dance in Beaven Hall @ 6pm - 8pm

  • Tuesday, October 29 - Prayer Buddies at 8:30; Rosary Prayer service K-8 at 9:30 

  • Thursday, October 31 - Halloween! 

  • Friday, November 1 - All Saints Day - Mass today

Tuesday Professional Development Schedule - Upcoming work

October 22 -

STEAM Integration Planning for PK-5,

Focus on Fair, Valid and Consistent Assessments MS

Fall Open House Planning for ALL folks who will be here on November 5th @ 3:30PM in Kittler Hall

October 29 -

7C’s Portfolio check in for all - in person check ins

Focus on Fair, Valid and Consistent Assessments for Lower School & Intermediate

MS Final Assessment Creation and Consultation

November 5th - using ASPIRE DATA to plan instruction; MS Finals work time

November 8th - Catechetical/Faith Retreat (all day)

November 12th - STEAM Integration Planning

November 19th - Report Card work time

November 26th - Advent & Curriculum Planning

December 3 - ADHD presentation - strategies to use in the classroom

Save the Date - Walgreens Comes to SBPS for FLU SHOTS

October 23, 2019 from 10AM to 3PM

This is for all faculty and staff. See Heather Perez for details, but I think you need a PPO to get the shot for free.

Kittler Hall Foyer Shades

Please make sure they are complete closed until we get the furniture for the space. The intense sun is heating up the glue holding the tiles and it is bubbling up. THanks! R

Update Your Email Signature with 2019 National Blue Ribbon!

Please update your email with the following information and picture. (You can see a recent email from me for the example).

Go to Outlook…then settings. Under settings, find “compose and reply” to update your signature.

You should have the following (not bulleted)

  • NAME

  • Title

  • St. Benedict Preparatory School

  • Proud to be a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School! (you can change the color to blue)

  • 3900 N. Leavitt Street
    Chicago, IL 60618

  • 773-463-0782 (fax)

  • email

Then this picture/logo (CLICK to download)

Then this disclaimer:

This message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the sender of this e-mail. Thank you.

Email Signature_BLUE RIBBON.jpg

October Employee of the Month - Please submit your nominations this week!

Use the form below to submit your nomination.

7C’s Information for the C of the Month

  • October - Collaboration

  • November – Communication 

  • December - Content

  • January –  Critical Thinking

  • February – Creative innovation

  • March – Confidence

  • April – Catholic – the BIG C

Questions about COLLABORATION for students to reflect on…

  • Express what it means in their own words…

  • What does it look like? 

  • Why is it important? 

  • How do we create a collaborative environment? 

  • What prevents effective collaboration? 

  • What is their role in collaboration?

Progression Levels of Collaboration in Humans

Level One - on my own

Level Two - side by side

Level Three - back and forth

Level Four - build it together

7C’s Portfolio To-Do’s This Week (updated)

1) Did you complete your student goal log spreadsheet? See your Team Lead if you don’t know what this is.

2) Have you begun to comment on the student reflections from the goal spreadsheet tracker form?

3) SMART start Monday, October 21st

4) First Teacher Check in is Tuesday, October 29th - Teacher provides students samples of reflections 

  • Beginning-of-Year Growth Pieces 

  • Goal Tracker with all student goals and check on teacher feedback on goals 

  • List of Pieces for the Year 

  • Portfolio Project Planning Sheet 

ASPIRE INTERIM TESTING THIS WEEK - Your resources here (grades 3-8)

1) Invites to ASPIRE portal coming in email SUNDAY - look in SPAM/trash if you didn’t get it.

2) Did you have your students Download the ASPIRE Test Nav App? See email from Louie from last week. This MUST BE DONE PRIOR TO TESTING…please do not wait until the DAY OF. Thanks!


4) HAVE STUDENTS close down and restart computers EACH DAY, especially DAY ONE

5) Click here for directions to preview. Please read through General Directions p. 21-26. General test instructions begin on p. 27. We will have the test instruction and general administration directions photocopied and in your packet each morning for your convenience.

6) OTHER POINTS Please note: If you are administering any ASPIRE interims this week, someone from the Admin and/or tech team will be present with you to administer the FIRST ROUND of testing. The goal is to support you through round one, and that the teacher would administer the rest of the testing during the week. We of course will make ourselves available if you are experiencing problems.

YOU WILL NEED YOUR LAPTOP logged into ASPIRE to administer the test.

Ideally, we will open/start the tests in the morning so teachers don’t have to.

Your students will each be issued a ticket to log in to their test. They may use this paper as scratch paper. They need to turn it in at the end of the test. Please return these to Christa at the end of the testing.

Rules for Test Administrators/Test Proctors

Room Supervisor Responsibilities Specific responsibilities are: • Read and thoroughly understand the policies, procedures, and instructions in this guide and other training materials provided. • Supervise a test room. • Start a test session. • Help examinees sign in to the online testing platform. • Read test instructions. • Move around the test room during testing to be sure examinees are working on the correct test and to observe examinee behavior. • Monitor the online testing platform as needed. • Collect and account for all student authorization testing tickets and scratch paper before dismissing examinees. • Ensure examinees have stopped testing and have correctly signed out of the online testing platform. • Complete documentation of any irregularities.

Prayer Spaces and Bulletin Boards for November

Wow! We only have a couple weeks left of October…and before you know it, November will be here. It will be time again, before the Advent season, to change our prayer spaces once again. There are THREE great themes for your prayer spaces/bulletin boards for the month of November.

All Saints Day November 1st - focusing on a month of saints. All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven.

A simple theme is to display pictures and 3D images of famous saints - you can go with a theme (American Saints, Latin American Saints, Female Saints, Martyrs, etc…). You can also have your prayer space be an interactive space as well…see the links below for some great activities you might be able to incorporate.

All Saints Day, Loyola Press (click)

The Religion Teacher - resources (click)

8 Ideas for All Saints Day (click) 

All Souls Day (November 2) - Day of the Dead - Month of Remembrance

All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2, and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven. We take this month to remember and pray for the souls of our dearly departed. Some cultures have some great traditions for this month! A simple idea, if appropriate for your class, is to invite your students to bring in a picture of a family member/friend who passed away. You can remember them in your prayers. See below for some more ideas to incorporate during the month of November as we remember those who have died. (On my prayer space outside my office, I’ll be inviting staff/faculty members to bring in pictures of deceased loved ones to display on the prayer space).

Pintrest for Catholic kids (click) or this (CLICK)


Americans celebrate the Feast of Thanksgiving each November. While Thanksgiving is not a Catholic holiday, Thanksgiving or the Eucharist IS Catholic. So…if you are going to do a prayer space on the theme of thanksgiving, remember to give THANKS TO GOD for all his blessing…students may write prayers of thanksgiving, or write special intentions. In the end, help them remember we give Thanks to GOD for all good things. Your prayer space should be more than pilgrims, Indigenous people or cornucopias and turkeys, please.

Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers PK-3

The Office of Catholic Schools is privileged to be a partner with the Erikson Institute and its TEC Center and bring these workshops focused on technology in early childhood to our teachers, AT NO COST. Parking is free and a light dinner will be provided. The first workshop takes place November 6th, so teachers must register asap! The registration link is in the attachment and also provided here

This Year's priorities .jpg

This Year’s Priorities: School Improvement Strands & Shared Spaces

One of the things that we are focusing this year as we implement the 7C’s of a St. Benedict Education is learning how to utilize our new spaces. On our first Professional Development Day, we will take some time to introduce/review integrating technology (one to one environment, Office 365, Interactive projectors, etc.), but we will also introduce and explain how to use our newest spaces such as the Wonder Lab, Room 222 and the Green Room, The Global Learning Lab and more. Since a number of our spaces are shared spaces, we want staff to understand the opportunities these spaces afford our students.

We have also created ONE document for teachers to sign out/reserve these spaces. I’ll be making a button on the dashboard under quick links as well. The spaces on the tabs should be reserved using this document, please. Other spaces not listed on this document such as the Upper School Library or Beaven Hall should still be reserved through School Dude.

More to come, but here is the link. (CLICK HERE)